Blog Archives

Has the LSA Been a Generativist-Dominated Organisation?

Frederick J. Newmeyer University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and University of Washington There are two stories about how the field of linguistics (at least in the United States) reacted sociologically to the advent of generative grammar. I call

Posted in 20th century, America, Article, Linguistics, Uncategorized

Language in and out of society: Converging critiques of the Labovian paradigm

Johannes Woschitz University of Edinburgh The following text is based on and is, where appropriate, an elaboration of Woschitz (2019), a paper I have recently published and which is the centrepiece of my PhD thesis. A different title could have

Posted in America, Article, Dialectology, Linguistics, Phonetics, Phonology, Sociolinguistics

The journal WORD and the structural heritage of usage-based linguistics: Three functional tenets and an overarching principle

Enrico Torre Università degli Studi di Genova The first issue of WORD was launched in 1945, announced on its front cover as “the journal of the Linguistic Circle of New York, devoted to the study of linguistic science in all

Posted in 20th century, America, Article, History, Linguistics

Speech sounds in the field: Dynamical approaches to phonology after Maxwell and Einstein

Alexander Teixeira Kalkhoff Universität Freiburg 1 The notion of field in physics The mutual interaction, i.e. attraction and repulsion, of bodies across space without direct mechanical contact, such as the movement of planets, gravity, magnetism, electricity, or light, posed a

Posted in 19th century, 20th century, America, Article, Europe, Field linguistics, History, Linguistics

Pierre-Philippe Potier’s Elementa Grammaticae Huronicae (1745)

Zanna Van Loon University of Leuven Introduction Instead of imposing European languages, Catholic friars conducting missions in the Americas in the early modern period opted to learn indigenous tongues to more efficiently teach local communities the religious doctrine. To guarantee

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Posted in 18th century, America, Article, History, Missionary Linguistics

Lawyers, Linguists and Truthiness

Douglas Kibbee University of Illinois Are lies information? This was the question before the Supreme Court of Michigan in a 2016 case (People v. Harris, based on a 2009 incident). A police officer was charged with pulling a motorist out

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Posted in America, Article, Linguistics, Semantics

“Except in the case of Andrade”: Manuel J. Andrade’s Quileute (1933) on the questions of “drift” and “function”

Perry Wong University of Chicago While currently nearly unknown, Manuel J. Andrade (1885-1941)[1] is one of the central figures in the history of linguistics in the United States. He was a student of Boas at Columbia and an early methodological

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Posted in 20th century, America, Article, Field linguistics, History, Linguistics, Pragmatics, Structuralism

From godly analogy to ‚Äúdistant like floating clouds‚ÄĚ: the inevitability of the Sino-Dene hypothesis and the scalability of comparative linguistics

Yukun Zeng University of Chicago 1. The Problem of Scaling in Language Classification Language classification is a matter of scale and scaling. Most basically, it assigns languages into mutually exclusive categories. The scale underpins the categorization but does not come

Posted in 20th century, America, Article, China, History, Linguistics

Joseph Greenberg‚Äôs comparative notebooks

Judith Kaplan University of Pennsylvania In John Webster Spargo‚Äôs 1931 translation of Holger Pedersen‚Äôs contribution to the genre of Disziplingeschichte, readers are introduced to a legion of mostly well-bearded men, marching toward the ‚Äėdiscovery‚Äô of the Comparative Method. Summing up

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Posted in 20th century, America, Article, History, Linguistics, Typology

La langue de Boas. Quelques remarques √† propos de l‚Äô√©criture de Franz Boas.

Chlo√© Laplantine UMR 7597 ‚Äď Laboratoire Histoire des Th√©ories Linguistiques, Universit√© Paris Diderot As we require a new point of view now, so future times will require new points of view and for these the texts, and ample texts, must

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Posted in 19th century, 20th century, America, Article, Field linguistics, History, Linguistics